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Old 17.09.2006, 12:24
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How do speeding fines work in Switzerland?

As we prepare to move to Switzerland there are a lot of things going through my head, one of which is how speeding fines are administered.

Specifically, do the Swiss just relieve you of funds for small speeding offences or do they do the penalty points thing?

Having spent 5 years in the Netherlands I have got used to the odd fine without points. Am I going to loose this luxury?

P

Last edited by mark; 17.09.2006 at 12:47. Reason: Adjusting subject
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Old 17.09.2006, 12:55
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Re: How do speeding fines work in Switzerland?

You can be rest assured that Switzerland is not organised enough to figure out a points system, so you'll have no fear of losing your license on the small fines. All of the fines for 250 francs and under are not recorded if you pay them and don't argue.

Most speed enforcement in Switzerland is done by way of camera, rather than having actual police on patrol. You can read a long discussion about whether the fines are about a road safety issue or revenue raising opportunity for the cantons on this thread.

Fines of a "serious" nature (like going more than 30 over the limit on the freeway) will go via the courts. This doesn't mean that you have to go to court, it just means that they will add all sorts of bogus court fees to your bill and it starts to become astronomical (I paid 1500 francs for 31kph over the limit, then 350 francs for the canton to "manage", i.e. put in a drawer, my licence for a month).

Short answer: get into the habit of sticking to 50 pretty much everywhere you are in a town. Sure you'll get plenty of 40 franc fines for being 1km over the limit, but at least they won't count for anything in the way of points. Think of it as part of your tax bill along with health insurance, unemployment insurance, invalidity insurance and other charges pretending not to be taxes.
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Old 17.09.2006, 13:06
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Re: How do speeding fines work in Switzerland?

As what mark said. No points, but the pain curve increases exponentially with the size of your indiscretion. New cameras (the laser ones) only give a 3k/mh margin.

As a foreigner, you will get penalised enough with car insurance here. A confiscated licence will just give them another reason to send your premium into the stratosphere.

Having just checked ROADMC for the first time in a while, there seems to be a growing trend in EU countries towards jailing serious speed offenders. Ireland and France have just joined Norway in this one. I think Switzerland is quite moderate in its speeding fines.
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Old 17.09.2006, 16:52
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Re: How do speeding fines work in Switzerland?

Marc / Litespeed

Thanks for the replies. It is good to know where I stand BEFORE getting caught;-)

I tend to avoid going too fast on the roads (keeping that for the circuit) but often find myself with the odd ticket driving home from track days etc. (after spending a day driving flat out, the real world seems terribly slow for a while).

Tickets seem quite expensive in CH so that should have a calming effect (not quite as calming as penalty points though;-)

P
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Old 21.09.2006, 16:52
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Re: How do speeding fines work in Switzerland?

Hi Pete, if you move to the French speaking part, the story is very different, lot less cameras, lot less anal fining system I believe.

I have never seen a speed camera even in the french cantons. But perhaps they are hidden better , no seriously, it is very different.
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Old 21.09.2006, 16:59
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Re: How do speeding fines work in Switzerland?

Quote:
Hi Pete, if you move to the French speaking part, the story is very different, lot less cameras, lot less anal fining system I believe.
I can confirm from bitter experience getting fined by cameras in the French -speaking part and the amounts being almost the same.

The only difference was that they also gave the international payment details so payments were possible from outside Switzerland. Haven't seen that in the German-speaking part yet. My brother from Australia got fined in Basel and they kept posting him letters and Swiss-only payment slips in German, despite his protestations. When I phoned them to complain they told me that I should pay it for him since I was in Switzerland and his brother

Muze7, do you live in the French-speaking part? If so - where? "CH" in your profile doesn't really give anyone much of a clue...
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Old 21.09.2006, 17:07
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Re: How do speeding fines work in Switzerland?

Quote:
Hi Pete, if you move to the French speaking part, the story is very different, lot less cameras, lot less anal fining system I believe.

I have never seen a speed camera even in the french cantons. But perhaps they are hidden better , no seriously, it is very different.
I've been caught by a speed camera near Lausanne, that was a CHF100 fine. Also stopped by the police for doing 90 in an 80 zone near Neuchatel. When I lived down there and was driving a lot on the motorway I saw quite a few unmarked police cars operating.
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Old 21.09.2006, 17:33
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Re: How do speeding fines work in Switzerland?

PAGF
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www.radar.ch has a list of the fines (Verkehrsbussen) and locations of the known Metal Policemen.

Typically, places to speed are the motorways in 120 zones (140 on your speedo is likely 133 or so due to the over-reading which, if you're stopped by mobile plod is 123-ish with their 7% frequent-speeder discount ). Do note, however, that 100 and 80 zones on the motorways often have cameras. I'd not over-speed there

www.mappy.com - plot your journey there and you may see where fixed cameras are

Everywhere else - prepared to cough draconian amounts of wonga - and rightly so.

On the bright side, you have to work to get banned but it is possible. Certainly the only cameras I've seen in Ticino are red-light cameras.
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Old 21.09.2006, 17:34
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Re: How do speeding fines work in Switzerland?

btw ...... unmarked police cars on the A3: two green Omegas (one wagon, one saloon) and there is a silver 5-series wagon.
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Old 21.09.2006, 17:46
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Re: How do speeding fines work in Switzerland?

The police can also be quite sneaky, driving on the motorway A53 from Griefensee towards Zurich where there is 60kph zone just before you join the A1, there is a speed camera on the bend and 100m meters before the camera was an unmarked Golf with a radar gun trying to catch drivers who brake late for the camera.
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Old 21.09.2006, 21:04
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Re: How do speeding fines work in Switzerland?

I've only just started to drive here in the last 2 months or so! So I tend to drive like a snail and living up the top of an alp doesn't help! I rarely get out of third gear on the way down to AIgle! But there are definitely police with cameras in tiny hamlets such as Huemoz and Cheziers so they must be all over.
Be careful!
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Old 26.06.2007, 19:01
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Re: How do speeding fines work in Switzerland?

I activated a speed camera on the motorway in January whilst driving a hire car.
I've obviously been traced by the police through the hire car company to my home in Manchester UK, as I received a letter today notifying me that I have to pay a CH260 fine.
Does anyone know if I will receive points on my UK licence.
Do I just "bite the bullet" and pay the fine.
What would happen if I just ignored the letter?
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Old 26.06.2007, 19:10
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Re: How do speeding fines work in Switzerland?

Pay the money and that will be the end of it. No points on your UK license. If you ignore the letter, never set foot in CH again. They never forget and add interest to the fine.
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Old 26.06.2007, 19:59
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Re: How do speeding fines work in Switzerland?

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Hi Pete, if you move to the French speaking part, the story is very different, lot less cameras, lot less anal fining system I believe.

I have never seen a speed camera even in the french cantons. But perhaps they are hidden better , no seriously, it is very different.
There are a lot of cameras on the autoroute around Lausanne, so beware.
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Old 26.06.2007, 20:23
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Re: How do speeding fines work in Switzerland?

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Pay the money and that will be the end of it. No points on your UK license. If you ignore the letter, never set foot in CH again. They never forget and add interest to the fine.
Thanks for that! I thought that would be the case. A "friend" suggested I ignore the letter, but I said that if I did that I would probably be arrested at customs the next time I was stopped.
I shouldn't have been speeding it's as simple as that!!
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Old 26.06.2007, 20:53
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Re: How do speeding fines work in Switzerland?

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There are a lot of cameras on the autoroute around Lausanne, so beware.
The Vaudois have gone totally nuts regarding speedcams. On the A1 freeway between Lausanne and Geneva, there's now a camera about every 5 kms or so... barely worth accelerating in between.

The romands used to have a pretty relaxed attitude towards speeding, but at least in the Canton de Vaud this has changed dramatically over the last few years.

Regarding fines; if you get a bill for a minor fine (Ordnungbusse) it's not worth fighting it, unless you're absolutely positively sure that you were not speeding, e.g. there was a camera malfunction, they misread the number on the license plate, etc.
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Old 26.06.2007, 21:14
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Re: How do speeding fines work in Switzerland?

for 260, you were pictured 20-odd over the limit on the motorway.

well done, compare it to 60 with a little extra for no points

I do think with Brit plates the photos don't come out. Shame about it being a rental
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Old 27.06.2007, 07:33
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Re: How do speeding fines work in Switzerland?

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The Vaudois have gone totally nuts regarding speedcams. On the A1 freeway between Lausanne and Geneva, there's now a camera about every 5 kms or so... barely worth accelerating in between.
Agreed. This is madness, and idiots do speed up in between so it's a lot of stop go driving, heavy on the juice, heavy on the brakes making for very unsafe driving in theat area - but then, in Switzerland, it's not about safety, it's about money.
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Old 27.06.2007, 10:32
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Re: How do speeding fines work in Switzerland?

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Agreed. This is madness, and idiots do speed up in between so it's a lot of stop go driving, heavy on the juice, heavy on the brakes making for very unsafe driving in theat area
I haven't witnessed this mess yet as I rarely drive in that area, but that's just what I expected.

If anyone is interested (and speaks french) I have a attached a pdf file containing a presentation from the police cantonale trying to justify this madness. The funny thing is that they claim that all the new speedcams have been placed within 1 km of "accident hotspots". I'm actually very surprised how evenly spaced their "hotspots" are...
Attached Files
File Type: pdf 061006[1].pdf (584.0 KB, 1013 views)

Last edited by Mark75; 05.12.2007 at 23:26. Reason: replaced attachment
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Old 16.04.2008, 11:41
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Re: How do speeding fines work in Switzerland?

I have just received, in the UK, a speeding notice from the police in Lausanne, 35kmh over in a 120 zone - rushing in a hire car after a delayed flight, stupid! It does not request money, just lots of personal details. Looking at the earlier posts it looks like 35 over is a "serious" infringement, anyone any ideas what the consequences are when i return the details requested?

Thanks
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